15-storey residential tower to go before Planning & Land Use Committee

This empty lot at 726-746 Yates Street is the focus of a proposal for a 15-storey residential tower. Photo © by VibrantVictoria.ca.

A proposal for a 15-storey residential tower with groundfloor retail at 726-746 Yates Street will go before the Planning and Land Use Committee at Victoria City Hall this Thursday.

Staff are expected to support the project and developer Concert Properties of Vancouver anticipates a granting of the development permit by council in June.

Brent Beatson of Concert Properties says that if all approvals are in order by the summer, a marketing launch will be targeted for the fall with construction starting in 2012.

The 157-unit tower is aimed at buyers seeking smaller, more affordable inner city homes.  Unlike the luxury condo market that has struggled in the current economic climate, smaller, more affordable homes continue to pique the interest of potential buyers that are able to mortgage a home at or below rental rates.

“We’re looking at compact, efficient suites that are value driven,” Beatson said.  “Most units will be studios and one-bedrooms, but with 157 units available we also have the flexibility to include a wider range of options.”

The residential tower was originally conceived as a 12-storey, 48-meter tall office building.  With the economic downturn several commercial projects, including Concert’s proposal, were canceled or await anchor tenants.  Concert, however, saw value in the Yates Street property and opted to completely rethink its plans rather than wait for a commercial market turnaround.

“The office proposal was 12-storeys tall and each floor had a high ceiling.  While keeping within the existing zoning, we were able to redesign the building to be 15-floors with shorter ceilings and still fall under the zoned height of 48-meters,” said Beatson.

Concert’s plans for the property include a substantial widening of Millie’s Lane between Yates and Johnson streets to permit a clear line of site between both alley entrances, and a public plaza much like the one envisioned for a previous proposal on the site (dubbed then as The Mozart).

“We’ll be doing a lot of work around the site to enhance the immediate area including the preservation and restoration of the heritage façade of the English candy shop at 738 Yates.  In fact the façade will be refurbished back to its original 1905 design and that will require recreating a lot of building elements that are no longer part of the existing façade,” said Beatson.

In recent years Concert Properties has played an active role throughout the urban core of Victoria with construction projects in downtown Victoria, Fairfield and most recently in Burnside’s Selkirk Waterfront neighbourhood.  726-746 Yates will be Concert’s sixth development site in Victoria. VV

To discuss 726-746 Yates on the VibrantVictoria discussion forum, click here.

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The five most recent replies to VibrantVictoria.ca's discussion forum's [Downtown Victoria] Era | Condos | 15-storeys | Under construction thread, the most relevant thread to the above headline or article:

Nanaimoite

Nov 08, 2013 at 8:42 am

thanks for the new pic, its starting to pick up speed

VicHockeyFan

Nov 08, 2013 at 9:18 am

Quote: thanks for the new pic, its starting to pick up speed


No problem, this is the best pic from my office, my office is actually one floor higher but faces east, not south, so I go down one set of stairs to get this. I went to Yates to take a better one, but it's hard to see from Yates now, it's at the height of all the crap piled/sitting in front. Next floor will provide better views from Yates.

History Buff

Nov 08, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Quote: Image

Image

Hotel Mike

Nov 08, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Gotta love it. The dude in the first photo is wearing shorts. That's a good angle you got there HB.

MarkoJ

Nov 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm
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